Voting Rights: A Federal Judge Gives Georgia An Election Security Smackdown

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Can Census Pull Off the Data Project Trump Needs for an Anti-Immigrant Power Grab? That’s the question many outside census and redistricting experts are raising to me, as they point out the challenges in using existing government records to produce citizenship data reliable enough for redistricting. Meanwhile:

  • The Census Bureau told Congress it is producing the type of citizenship data that can be used for redistricting.
  • There are concerns about how the citizenship data project will affect new privacy protocols the bureau is implementing
  • In a lawsuit seeking the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from apportionment — for which AG Barr previously said the citizenship data could be helpful — 16 states sought to intervene to defend the current system, raising the stakes on the current fight.
  • Some states are working a lot harder than others to make sure the 2020 census counts as many people as possible, per this HuffPost report.
  • The Justice Department is on the hook for at least $2.7 million in legal fees and probably several million more for the court battles over the citizenship question.

Georgia Gets An Election Security Smackdown: In a blistering opinion Thursday, a federal judge took Georgia to task for the security weaknesses in its election infrastructure. While they judge is letting the current system, which she called “unsecure, unreliable and grossly outdated,” to stay in place for 2019 elections, she ordered the state to replace the technology in time for 2020.

Speaking of Georgia…: Former Georgia House minority leader Stacey Abrams, who lost the governor’s race to then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp amid claims of voter suppression, announced Tuesday that her voting rights initiative is expanding its efforts. Fair Fight Action will look to knock down obstacles to the ballot box in 20 states, having already brought a lawsuit in Georgia challenging restrictive laws and practices there.

Trump Tries to Barter Election Security for National Voter ID: There goes the GOP line that election policy decisions should be left up to the states.

Voting Rights Groups Want In On MI’s Redistricting Legal Battle: The group that shepherded an anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative in Michigan is now seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Republicans seeking to dismantle the redistricting commission that the initiative creative. The case will be one of many coming tests for redistricting reformers as they recalibrate after the Supreme Court’s refusal to rein in extreme partisan gerrymandering.

Ohio Voter Purge Drama Continues: I checked in on how list maintenance is going in Ohio since the Supreme Court blessed it’s use-it-or-lose-it voter purges, and between calls that the new GOP elections chief pause the purge amid discrepancies and continued litigation over how it was implemented, it’s still pretty messy!

Guess Who Doesn’t Like Automatic Voter Registration? The GOP chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Commissioner Chrissy McCormick gave state officials a presentation decrying the measure, which has been adopted by several states. She argued that mail notices letting people know they’ve been registered are not “very effective” (tell that to the states who use the same kinds of notices to purge people) and because it might offend sovereign citizen types. After her slide show became public, McCormick continued to defend her opposition to AVR.

Voter Groups Ask Court To Block TN’s Registration Drive Law: Voting rights groups requested a preliminary injunction on Friday in one of the lawsuits brought against Tennessee for its new law targeting registration drives with onerous requirements. The law is set to go into effect on Oct. 1.

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#voting rights
#weekly primers
#weekly primer